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Family-Based Immigration

Two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories, immediate relatives and family preference, are provided under the provisions of U.S. immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  You may wish to review our Directory of Visa Categories  to learn more about these two categories of immigrant visas, as well as other types of immigrant visas to the United States.

To apply for an immediate relative or family preference immigrant visa, follow the steps included on the Immigrant Visa Process.  Once you have completed those steps, review the instructions given to you by the National Visa Center (NVC), along with the information presented at usvisas.state.gov, for further guidance and instructions.


After you have completed the steps included on the Immigrant Visa Process , as well as paid the necessary fees and submitted the required immigrant visa application form (DS-260), Affidavit of Support, and supporting documents to the National Visa Center (NVC), your file will be reviewed for completeness. Once your case becomes qualified for an interview, NVC will work with us to schedule an interview appointment for you.

You may also visit www.ustraveldocs.com , the only website that the U.S. Consulate General authorizes to provide visa information and visa application services.


At the end of your immigrant visa interview, the consular officer will inform you of the result of your visa application, as well as of any further instructions to continue the application process.

Some visa applications require further administrative processing , which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer.  Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply.  Most administrative processing is resolved within 90 days of the visa interview.  When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.  You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov .  For document delivery status, please click here.

If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on our Visa Denials  webpage, as well as information on Ineligibilities and Waivers .

After the Interview

If your visa has been approved, you will be informed how and when your passport and visa will be returned to you.  Carefully review our After the Interview webpage to learn what to do when you receive your visa, enter the United States, pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee, and other important information.